“Ye Are the Children of the Covenant” (October 12–18)

Episode #40 Published: October 9, 2020

It can be so easy to breeze through 3 Nephi 20–26. You may even think, “I’ve read these verses so many times, what else is there for me to learn?” But, like each brushstroke is intentional in a painting, every word in these chapters has a purpose. And as we dig into this week’s lesson, we’ll see how all the beautiful details of 3 Nephi 20–26 come together to create a scriptural masterpiece.

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Show Notes: 

Tammy Uzelac Hall

Tamara Uzelac Hall grew up in Utah and Missouri fully intending to get married, raise her 12 children while putting her husband through medical school, God had other plans. She went to college and received both her bachelor's and master’s degrees from BYU. She served a mission in Fresno, California, and worked as a social worker until God steered her life in a completely different direction, becoming a full-time seminary and institute teacher instead. After buying a house and settling nicely into a family ward, she was set up on (another) blind date with a widower, which miraculously worked and catapulted her into married life and became an insta-mom to two little girls. Currently, she and her husband are the parents to four girls and live in Utah. She is a host for Time Out for Women, a featured speaker at Temple Square Youth Conferences, Retreat for Girls, girls’ camp, and has been a speaker at BYU Women’s Conference. She loves all things scripture and is a lifelong student of the Hebrew language. A good flash mob makes her cry, she is a (self-proclaimed) champion Oreo eater, and she believes that cheese is God’s way of saying, “Hey, everything is going to be OK.”

Trace Stanger

Trace was born in Quincy, Illinois, part of the Nauvoo district and final resting place to his relative Frederick G. Williams. Later his family moved to Grass Valley, California, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. Northern California is where Trace calls home and the place that shaped his interests in snowboarding, the outdoors and art. Trace enjoys landscape photography and travel with his wife, Susan, (a former guest on the podcast) and his four children. Two of his children are serving full-time missions. A daughter is serving in the Washington Kennewick Mission and his son is called to the Japan Fukuoka Mission with a reassignment near his sister in the Washington Tacoma Mission. Trace served in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission and has fond memories of the people, food and being branch president to an all-sister branch. 

Robert Howarth

Robert is the seventh child out of eight and grew up in Dallas, Texas, and then the Bay Area in California. Though having pioneer heritage on all sides of his family, Robert felt detached from his roots until attending BYU and being surrounded by others of his faith. He really got to feel his roots when he was called to the Idaho Pocatello Mission (The Lord really knows what we need). With a new found love for eastern Idaho, Robert returned to Provo, Utah, and met his wife and worked toward becoming a dentist. Life happened, and bills for babies were due, and Robert took a role in sales thinking the dream to work in peoples' mouths would always be there. Twenty-five years, five children, two dogs, and lots of backyard chickens later, Robert is loving his life with all the twists and turns and working as the Chief Revenue Officer for Tech9 in Salt Lake City, Utah. When not in a Zoom meeting, Robert loves to ride his bikes (both road and mountain), eat breakfast cereal, and play keeper for the family co-ed indoor soccer team.


Segment 1:

Tammy's Scriptures:

13 Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did ashow himself unto them oft, and did break bbread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them (3 Nephi 26:13).

Second Sacrament:

Now, there had been no abread, neither wine, brought by the disciples, neither by the multitude; (3 Nephi 20:6).

And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of amy body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled (3 Nephi 20:8).

Quote: 

“One of the invitations inherent in the sacramental ordinance is that it be a truly spiritual experience, a holy communion, a renewal for the soul. Jesus said to these Nephites, "He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, quoted by Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, "The Sacrament—a Renewal for the Soul," October 2014 general conference). 


3 Nephi 20:16–25: Abrahamic Covenant=LDS (Land, Deliverance, Seed)

3 Nephi 20:36–45: Cross reference with Isaiah 52 

Nauvoo: Nau=Beautiful; Voo=They (How beautiful will the people be when they keep covenants with God.)

46 Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled; and then shall aJerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance (3 Nephi 20:46). 


Segment 2:

And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a asign, that ye may know the btime when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion; (3 Nephi 21:1).

4 Signs the Savior Gives:

And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that awhen these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them; (3 Nephi 21:2). 

1. "When these things"= the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon comes forth.

For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a afree people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the bcovenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel; (3 Nephi 21:4).

2. "...established in this land, and be set up as a free people" = The Restoration beginning in America.

For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the aGentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be bnumbered among my people, O house of Israel; (3 Nephi 21:6). 

3. "...and know of the true points of my doctrine" = The gospel is established among the descendants of the Nephites and the Lamanites.

For in that day, for my sake shall the Father awork a work, which shall be a great and a bmarvelous cwork among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be amarred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that bmy wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil (3 Nephi 21: 9–10). 

4. Servant = Joseph Smith

How many times is the word "cut off" used in these verses?

13 Their hand shall be lifted up upon their aadversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.

14 Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they arepent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy bchariots;

15 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy astrongholds;

16 And I will cut off awitchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers;

17 Thy agraven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands;

18 And I will pluck up thy agroves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.

19 And it shall come to pass that all alyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.

20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that aday whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I bcut off from among my people, O house of Israel; (3 Nephi 21:13–20).

In these verses, the Savior is quoting the Old Testament prophet Micah. 

Micah Scripture Chain:

1. 3 Nephi 16:13-15 - Micah 5:7-9

2. 3 Nephi 20:15-17  - Micah 5:7-9

3. 3 Nephi 20:18-19 - Micah 4:12-13

4. 3 Nephi 21:12-21 - Micah 5:8-15

Cast Off Scripture Chain:

 3 Nephi 20:23, 3 Nephi 21:11, Deut. 18:18-19, Acts 3:22-23, JSH 1:40


Segment 3:

And then shall that which is written come to pass: Sing, O abarren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into bsinging, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the cdesolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord (3 Nephi 22:1).

  • "Sing, O barren" = Israel is barren or lacks believers
  • "for more are the children of the desolate" = Gentiles
  • "married wife" = covenant people

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy astakes; (3 Nephi 22:2). 

  • "Enlarge the place of thy tent" = the gathering of Israel 
  • "and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes" = the number of people who live the gospel will increase.

During the April 2020 general conference, the Church's statical report for 2019 showed that he number of stakes was 3,437 (see ChurchofJesusChrist.org). 

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall ainherit the bGentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited (3 Nephi 22:3). 

"thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited" = the Gentiles are adopted into the house of Israel.

For thy maker, thy ahusband, the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel—the God of the whole earth shall he be called (3 Nephi 22:5).

"God over the whole earth" = God has total power over the earth. His power is not limited. 

In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting akindness will I have bmercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer (3 Nephi 22:8). 

"In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment" = God hid His face because of the wickedness of the people.

10 For the amountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my bkindness shall not cdepart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee (3 Nephi 22:10). 

"For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed" = Mountains and hills represent stability

"but my kindness shall not depart from thee" (NIV kindness = unfailing love)

"neither shall the covenant of my peace" = JST peace means people

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy astones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13 And aall thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the bpeace of thy children.

14 In arighteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee (3 Nephi 22:11–14). 

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the aservants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (3 Nephi 22:17). 


Segment 4:

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine aordinances, and have not kept them. bReturn unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return? (3 Nephi 24:7). 

  • The Hebrew translation of "wherein" is "in what way shall we return?"

The way we return is tithing:

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In atithes and bofferings.

Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the cwindows of heaven, and pour you out a dblessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the adevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts (3 Nephi 24:8–12).

14 Ye have asaid: It is bvain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his cordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered (3 Nephi 24:14–15). 

16 Then they that feared the Lord aspake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of bremembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be amine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I bmake up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him (3 Nephi 24:16–17). 

  • Feared = Revere or respect (cross reference with Revelation 20:12
  • In Hebrew, "my jewels" is Segullah, which means possession or property

18 Then shall ye return and adiscern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not (3 Nephi 24:18). 


Segment 5:

aFor behold, the day cometh that shall bburn as an oven; and all the cproud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch (3 Nephi 25:1). 

Cross Reference: 23 Behold, now it is called atoday until the bcoming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of csacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is dtithed shall not be eburned at his coming (D&C 64:23). 

Quote: “The gospel of Jesus is not insurance against pain, it is the resource in the event of pain" (Dr. Carlfred Broderick, The Uses of Adversity).

But unto you that fear my name, shall the aSon of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and bgrow up as ccalves in the stall (3 Nephi 25:2). 

  • In Hebrew, "Son of Righteousness" is "Sun of Righteousness"
  • In Hebrew "grow up" is "grow fat"
  • In Hebrew "calves in a stall" is "calves stall-fed."
  • Stall-fed, yoked calves would grow fat as they ate the corn from the floor of their stalls.

And ye shall atread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts (3 Nephi 25:3). 

  • "ye shall tread down the wicked" = when yoked with Christ, we can overcome trials and obstacles

What is the last thing Christ talks about in chapter 25?

Behold, I will send you aElijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful bday of the Lord;

And he shall aturn the heart of the bfathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and csmite the earth with a curse (3 Nephi 25: 5–6)


Segment 6:

And now it came to pass that when Jesus had told these things he expounded them unto the multitude; and he did expound all things unto them, both great and small.

And he saith: aThese scriptures, which ye had not with you, the Father commanded that I should give unto you; for it was wisdom in him that they should be given unto future generations (3 Nephi 26:1–2). 

  • The Savior gives the people the words of Malachi and MIcah to add to their scriptures.

What does the Savior teach the people in verses 3–4?

And he did expound all things, even from the beginning until the atime that he should come in his bglory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the celements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be dwrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away;

And even unto the agreat and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall bstand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil (3 Nephi 26:3–4). 

And now there cannot be written in this book even a ahundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; (3 Nephi 26:6). 

Why didn't Mormon and Moroni include more scriptures?

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the agreater things be made manifest unto them.

10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the agreater things be bwithheld from them, unto their condemnation.

11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord aforbade it, saying: I will btry the faith of my people (3 Nephi 26:9–11). 

Quote: "We must first feast worthily upon that which we already have!” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell "God Will Yet Reveal," October 1986 general conference). 


Transcript